• Arnab Goswami issued notice over 'theft' charges by Delhi HC

    May 23, 2017

    The word Arnab Goswami always resonates with high pitched sound and a style of journalism seldom seen anywhere. But in a twist of tales, in what seems nothing short of a film out of Bollywood, Arnab's former employer, Times Now, has alleged that Arnab has 'stolen' from them.

    In what could mean more trouble for Arnab Goswami, the Delhi High court has issued a notice to him in the case pertaining to the alleged breach of employment contract and misusing intellectual property of Times Now, the channel owned by Bennett Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL).

    The suit was filed after Goswami’s Republic TV did a “super exclusive” on the death of Sunanda Pushka, the wife of parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor. The criminal case was filed against Goswami and journalist Prema Sridevi. Times Now, Goswami’s previous employer, alleged that the audio tapes played during the Sunanda Pushkar story and the earlier Lalu Prasad controversy on Republic TV were ‘procured and accessed’ by Goswami and Sridevi while they were employed by Times Now.

    While the court observed that an employee has to maintain confidentiality and utmost fidelity towards his employer and they cannot breach contract, it said that since the Times Group hasn’t submitted anything on record to prove that the audio recordings used by Goswami were parts of its database, it has only issued a short notice.

    The notice comes days after the court issues summons to Goswami, Sridevi and the ARG Outlier Media Private Limited, the company that owns Republic TV.

    The criminal complaint states that BCCL has set up an internal inquiry into the matter, establishing the fact that the audio tapes were indeed procured by Goswami and Sridevi while they were still working with Times Now. The complaint also states that while airing the story on 8 May on Republic TV, Goswami and Sridevi had admitted that the audio tapes had been in their possession for the past two years.

    BCCL has alleged that both Goswami and Sridevi used the tapes ‘wilfully and deliberately’ for their gain, which amounts to criminal expropriation of property.

    An FIR against Goswami and Sridevi were then filed under Sections 378, 379, 403, 405, 406, 409, 411, 414 and 418 under the Indian Penal Code and under Sections 66-B, 72 and 72-A of the IT Act, 2000 as per the report.

    Although inquiry is still on, it is safe to say that Arnab is in troubled waters. It seems as though this incident was just inevitable, with the ongoing tiff between the former employee and employer quite visible. Only time will tell if Arnab really did what Times Now has alleged.

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